International accolade for WA early literacy program

Thursday 07 September 2017
  • Prestigious award for Better Beginnings program acknowledges best practice in literacy provision
  • McGowan Government committed to early literacy and quality library services
  • Program has reached more than 550,000 families over the past 13 years

Western Australia's popular and evidence-based early literacy program, Better Beginnings, has been awarded a prestigious 'Best Practice Honoree' in the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

The State has delivered the Better Beginnings program since 2004, providing more than 550,000 families State-wide with developmentally appropriate books and resources and access to Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions at their local libraries.

The prestigious award recognises best practice in literacy provision and acknowledges the evidence-based approach adopted by the State Library of Western Australia through its ongoing evaluation of Better Beginnings conducted by Edith Cowan University. 

A recent Social Return on Investment Analysis* revealed that for every $1 invested in the program there is a $5.64 return in social value.

The honour comes with a prize of US$5,000. Better Beginnings will be profiled in the Library of Congress Literacy Awards publication distributed to 1,750 literacy organisations and educators worldwide.

Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

"This is a fantastic honour for a wonderful program. Better Beginnings is much loved by Western Australian families and the McGowan Government recently confirmed its commitment to the program.

"I congratulate the State Library and would like to thank local government authorities, and their public libraries, and child health nurses who share in this award as do the more than 550,000 families that the program has reached in its 13 years.

"I would also like to acknowledge Rio Tinto and the local government authorities, which have partnered with us in delivering this program."


Minister's office - 6552 5400

Last updated on: 7 September 2017